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C4T Project

The Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology (C4T) is the first interdisciplinary research group administered by CARES and brings together researchers from Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Information Engineering, Electrical Engineering,  Materials Science and Metallurgy.

The motivation for the C4T project is to integrate materials design and selection (i.e. for adsorbents and catalysts) with advances in process design to achieve improved selectivity and conversion. Such improvements will provide a reduced carbon footprint and energy demand for both established and new processes. Lowering the cost of CO2 capture, and technologies and strategies for waste heat utilisation are also underlying drivers in the research. The reduction of the carbon footprint from a wider systems perspective through integration of chemical process related loads within the electrical power network is also addressed.

C4T addresses the complex problem of carbon abatement in chemical technologies by focusing on four fundamental aspects. These four collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Programmes (IRPs) combine state-of-the-art experimental analysis with advanced modelling research from Cambridge and Singapore.  Whilst each IRP has clearly-defined milestones and deliverables, denoted as work packages (WPs), there is significant interactions among the IRPs.  


IRP1: MUSCAT: Multi-Scale Studies of Catalytic and Adsorption Technologies

IRP2: EMSET: Electrochemical Multi-scale Science, Engineering and Technology

IRP3: CAPRICORN: Carbon Abatement in the Petroleum Refining Industry: A Control and Optimisation Research Network

IRP4: ICESO: Integrated Chemicals and Electrical Systems Operation


Individually, the IRPs are formulated to push the boundaries of low-carbon chemical technology research by:

  • using holistic approaches to reactor design to produce fewer undesirable by-products and maximise exergetic efficiency and selectivity of processes,
  • developing high-selectivity and high-sensitivity electroanalytical techniques to fill gaps in the current understanding of electrolytic reactions,
  • optimising and controlling refinery process operations linked with dynamic energy to help develop a sustainable low-carbon engineering roadmap,
  • undertaking an integrated chemical-electrical system design to understand the impact of the electrical grid on stability, emissions and product quality in a chemical plant.

Each IRP is led by at least one Cambridge PI along with PIs from Nanyang Technical University and the National University of Singapore.